Bloodbath The Fathomless Mastery

Bloodbath The Fathomless Mastery
The perennial death metal side-project of Sweden's hardest working musicians, Bloodbath log their third full-length - their sixth release overall - with the expertly written The Fathomless Mastery. Key members of Katatonia, Opeth and 21 Lucifers shine radiantly together, with Opeth front-man Mikael Åkerfeldt manning the mic with his most guttural vocals. Obvious Swedish influences like Entombed and Grave are addressed in "Process of Disillumination," though the album flaunts a definitive American death metal slant in the Morbid Angel-meets-Cannibal Corpse anthem "At the Behest of Their Death." "Mock the Cross" blatantly lifts chord progressions from Morbid Angel's "Where the Slime Lives." "Treasonous" is a whirling maelstrom of all their wicked influences yet "Iesous" offers an updated twist on old-school death with infectious grooves and brilliant polyrhythms from Opeth drum dynamo Martin Axenrot. "Devouring the Feeble" and "Hades Rising" especially sport standout melodic solos. The Fathomless Mastery is astonishing for a band whose original plan was to release only one EP (2000's Breeding Death) and metal heads can only hope that Morbid Angel's forthcoming album will wield a fraction of Bloodbath's brutality. (Peaceville)